Genetic manipulation. Photo: iStock
Genetic manipulation. Photo: iStock

The Chinese researcher who claimed that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — two twin girls born this month — has been found to be a shareholder in seven companies with a total registered capital of 151 million yuan (US$21.76 million), The Paper reported.

The researcher, He Jiankui, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments to equip newborn babies with an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.

Besides being a scientific researcher, he was found to be a major shareholder of seven companies, the legal representative of six companies and the actual controller of five companies.

Among them, Direct Genomics, which was first established in 2012, is a company that claims to produce a third-generation genetic sequencer.

The company said in April that it had received 218 million yuan in series A financing led by Tongsheng Capital. It’s believed that He holds 33.25% of the total stake.

The firm with the highest registered capital, 66.67 million yuan, is Shenzhen Nanke Life Technology Co. Ltd. He holds 45.5% of the total shares and has served as a director of the board.

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